7 Most Useful Long Bike Ride Tips In India For Beginners

We are travel duo couples, who went on numerous long bike trips from Bangalore to places in South India. So, from our experience here are 7 Most Useful Long Bike Ride Tips In India.

It is nothing about road safety or any boring tips you see commonly in the internet.

Be it Leh ladak or Kanyakumari trip, these practical bike ride tips will come in handy from our constant travelling day and night.

Our experience will let you prepare for a long motorcycle trip in India, be it solo or couples trip.

Long Bike Ride Tips In India

No rental or Loaned from Friend – Ride your Own Bike

Am sure you didn’t expect me to start with this suggestion when you were looking for some cool long bike ride tips in India. Believe it or not, we rode Pulsar bike on all those numerous trips from Bangalore and never had any trouble so far, touchwood. 

Many days the bike got us home, when we were super tired and no longer had energy to focus. You can call it sentiment or bond, but sure there was something special having your own ride for a very long time. 

People expected us to buy a luxury motorbike like Harley Davidson or atleast Royal Enfield anytime soon, when they started seeing us all the time on the road. I mean from our regular Facebook posts.

But we didn’t, why would we when we were super comfortable with this one.

It was our regular office ride too. 

And you know, your bike doesn’t not just run on just gas. You also need to make sure everything alright by getting a regular service done and add some accessories like a mobile holder and extra blink headlights if you want. It would be super helpful for a long bike ride at night time too.

So get your bike serviced, change oil, check the suspension, fix those breaks, change the tires if you want to, add the extra headlights and tail lights. It’s all just basics, am sure you knew that already.

Super -bike or any regular bike, since you are going on a long ride, ride your own bike which you know very well. 

Plan well – Keep an Itinerary for All the Days of Your Trip

However long a bike trip you are planning for, it is important to have a well planned itinerary for all the days.

In our case, we went on an 11 days long bike trip in the year 2017 and 12 days long bike trips in the year 2018.

Both the trips were planned by me and executed by my partner Rajesh. We went as per the plan, sticking to the time schedule and resting well during nights.

Keep a handbook or mini note pad that fits in your jacket, write down your day’s plan page by page. Don’t make it clumsy, assign each page for consecutive days of your trip.

Note – If you prefer making a note in mobile itself, thats fine. Personally I prefer pocket notes for the ease of scribbling.

If you are a blogger like me or if you want to log your trips somewhere for future use, this notebook will come in handy.

For me, not just blogging, I also have a habit of sorting pics day wise in a harddisk, and save important pics in facebook albums to share with friends.

So, keep your day’s plan in a short note book for all time reference.

Read RelatedThis is How to Prepare for a Long Bike ride in India – Free Guide

Plan Well For Long Ride But Pack Only For Four Days

Yes you heard me right. 

This one advice we followed strictly on all our long bike trips. 

When you are going on a long bike trip, you are going to live life like a nomad

If you fill all the luggage space in saddle bags with clothes, then you would have to carry an extra carry – on bag or a day bag to fit in all other travel essentials. Like a bike rain cover, pair of slippers, SLR camera, power banks, jackets, riding accessories, Laptop (Rajesh carried in all the bike travels no matter the length of the trip), etc.,

Well, you are going to be on the wheels most of the time. Yet you would need clothes which will be comfortable for riding, right? 

So Here are few Practical & Smart Long Bike Ride Tips In India

  • Carry a jumper or a jacket based on the season you are planning your travel. We always keep both during winters – jumper for the day time ride and Jacket for the night time ride.
  • If you plan on carrying just one jacket, then pack long sleeved clothes for day rides. Since you are looking for long bike ride tips riding in India, keeping our humidity in mind, it is advisable to ride wearing long sleeved clothes for protection.
  • Rajesh had invested in an expensive padded jacket, but he found it too hot to wear it all the time. So, it was the long sleeved t-shirts that helped him protect from the sun.
  • Pack not more than 2 good pairs of jeans or formals to wear for the restaurants or any visiting places. 
  • For all time bike riding, pack a couple of travel pants – a soft and comfortable textile for both day and night rides. I wore jeggings from the Fratini brand, which was super comfortable for long bike rides. My hubby wore comfortable sweatpants all the time. 

So, going to Leh Ladakh or Manali, Kumbakonam or Kanyakumari, invest in a good pair of comfortable clothes and saddle bags. Also don’t forget comfortable shoes and sandals. Since it’s all part of travel essentials for Long bike travel, it’s important to make a list of them beforehand and buy quality stuff for the repeated wear.

Why Saddlebags? Why not just throw on a backpack? Why it is a Best Long Bike Tips In India?. Lets see.

Invest in Saddle bags – Best Long Bike Ride Tips in India You Will Hear from The Regular Bikers

Many of us, riders in India, still have the habit of riding with a heavy backpack on our shoulders. Some prefer to tie it with a rope at the back of the bike, some prefer carrying it – mostly the pillion riders are taking the burden.

I did too for many one day trips and two days trips from Bangalore until we bought a saddle bag and a tank bag. 

A tank bag – a multipurpose day bag which has a magnet grip to hold on to the both sides of the bike tank has been indispensable in all the bike trips. It doesn’t cause any inconvenience to the rider. Infact rider can keep his valuables inside the bag and can access it any time with ease. When you are not riding, it can be converted to a day-bag with the detachable shoulder belts.

A Saddle bag – which hangs on both the sides of a pillion ride bike seat with a good amount of space to keep your travel essentials. And it doesn’t cause any inconvenience to the pillion rider.

One of the basic essentials for that long bike trip is to invest in a good quality saddle bag. The most important long bike ride tips in India you would hear from any bikers if you ask.  If not a tank bag, buy a good quality saddle bag – let it sit on your bike at the back. It is easy to remove unlike the bags tied with rope, and it comes with double layered rain protection (again depends on the brand you buy).

It also offers a comfortable cushion and good support for the thighs for the pillion riders, for that long ride.

This is definitely the most neglected long bike ride tips in India, because we also invested in these bags too late. 

Until we bought this  saddle bag, we were riding with our individual backpacks and sure it was painful to carry them all the way to our destinations.

Note – You need to be all the time aware of those saddle bags especially when you are on highways and overtaking any vehicles.

Now that your bike is ready, you have a proper plan in hand, know what to carry on a long bike ride. Well, who is going to ride with you?

Read RelatedBest Earphones Under 500 In India (List from a Daily traveler)

Ride with a Partner with Common Interest and Complimenting Energy

The one thing that kept us going strong as duo bike couples was our complimenting energy. 

I mean any day or even late evenings, we are always ready to go on a bike trip.

You would not believe that once we have started our bike journey in the evening, rode 200kms to reach the destination by midnight.

If there is any never ending conflict between us (obvious as a newlywed), we just start the bike. Argument stops, mind relaxes and soon the craziness wades out.

Bike rides connected us. Strong.

But we both are two different personalities. For starters, he is a night owl and I am an early riser. 

On all our bike trips, I usually kick start the day, continuously nagging him to get ready so as to stick to the schedule. As the day goes by, you would be amazed at the energy transcending from him. He ends the trip with the same energy as I started it. While, myself just hanging in the bike, barely holding onto google maps with half opened eyes. 

So you need to choose a partner with the same passion you have for bike riding. And who has a positive mindset at all times.

This is how your partner’s qualities should be and very well should be yours too – Read here.

Don’t Blindly follow Google Maps – Question the route

This happened when we went on a 2 days trip from Bangalore to Yercaud in the year 2017.

There are two routes from Bangalore to reach Yercaud hills – one is shortest but rides among the dense trees, whereas the second is via Salem NH with proper paved roads with hairpin bends.

We unintentionally chose the shortest route – the one which was used by locals and the forest department. We were enjoying the bike trip among trees unaware that we had chosen a dense forest route.  It gave us chills when we realised it was just us riding the bike, except for the few locals rarely passed by us. 

We did not think of any possible danger from the forest animals or even from the strangers.

We were able to breathe free only when we reached a local village.

On returning back, we readily took the longest but seamless route via salem.

Gaining wisdom from this trip, later when we faced the same situation on our 4 days bike trip to Coorg (Madikeri), we investigated the route and chose the best way to reach the destination safely.

When in doubt, compare the 2 or 3 different routes suggested by google maps. Because google maps suggests routes which are used by locals, which may not be safe for the travellers.

Lets see an example.

To reach your destination, if you are suggested 2 routes with following directions: One with 32 kms showing 50 mins to reach and the other one is 49 kms taking 1 hr to reach. Also the first is showing a white road on the map and the second is showing a combination of white and yellow road on the map.

Which route will you choose? A or B?.

If I were you, I would choose the yellow road with more distance, because it is a National highways route, with proper paved roads and safer to ride. When compared to the white road which indicates a rural road / state road, are more bumpy n less safe comparatively. And probably it takes more time than it is mentioned in the map.

Trust me, many times when we had no choice but to take the white road, it took us more time than it was mentioned in the map.

Also, let’s not forget the road safety. Not just on highways, even riding on the rural, always expect the unexpected. 

Do not Mass Book the Rooms

This is another most important long bike ride tips in India. 

Now think about it for a second, is bike riding is all about just riding the bike for day and night long, non-stop?.

At one point of time, will you not call it a day and rest someplace?.

Because many think that bike riding is all about riding long hours, covering 500 kms a day. Some do it for pride and some for saving money.

If you are a couple like us, you probably need to think of pre-booking the rooms at your destination for your own safety.

Here is the advice from our regular long road trips experience. Do not mass book the rooms even if you have plans to stay in a place for more than one day. 

Though it is always advisable to book the rooms before you reach the destinations. And we always make sure to book it atleast 2 days prior to our trips -long or short bike trip.

Only if you like the room, feel that it’s worth the money and service, then it is wise to extend the stay. 

Also, there are stories revolving about the bikers / tourists being cheated or taken advantage. Though it is much cheaper to mass book the rooms, to have an upper hand, it is best to book the room for just a day.

We have never stayed in any of our acquaintances’ houses, so absolutely no experience on that.

And finally, it is absolutely necessary to wear a helmet and protective gear at all times. And be a good guy,  follow the road safety rules. 

Enjoy the ride. And wish you to have many more adventures in your life.

Read – Long Drive From Bangalore to Mysore in Our #AllNewCreta

This is How to Prepare for a Long Bike ride in India- Free Guide

How to Prepare for a long bike ride? Be it 2000 kms or 10k kms long bike ride, how do you prepare yourselves for that long journey on the road?

Here are some 5 practical questions that will help you prepare for a long bike ride.

Under each question, I have given our real life example of how we prepared ourselves for the long road trips. And some useful tips on long bike preparation, what to carry on a long bike trip and how to choose a travel partner.

How to Prepare for a Long Bike Ride

How Confident Are you?

We went on a couple of long bike rides in India in the year 2017 and 2018, after numerous one day and two days trips from our home in Bangalore.

This is how we grew confident over the period –

Success!!!.

Rest is history.

In the year 2017, we were able to go on 11 days long bike trip from Bangalore and in the following year 2018, we went on 12 days long bike trip from Bangalore. 

Had we not gone those first 50 bike trips to the nearby places in Bangalore, we could not have definitely gone those long bike trips.

Pro Tip

If you are not confident yet, you need to take a couple of 2 days bike rides, aiming to cover atleast 150 kms in a day. Then slowly increase to 300 kms a day.

If you are entirely new to bike trips, if you have never even taken the bike out except schools or the office, then plan for a 50 to 80 km bike ride.

How to prepare for a long bike ride?.

Start Small and improvise.

Related – How to prepare for a 100 km bike ride.

How Energetic are you?

It may look easy to read that we went 335 kms in a day in the initial days. That will be 670 kms in 2 days, with just one night’s rest. 

For those who think many bikers ride more than 500 kms in a day, those riders have also gained the experience just like us – taking slow steps at a time.

Note that we ride motorbikes with a theme. On every trip we visit famous places in our travel destinations. That gave us purpose in starting bikes. 

We needed energy to not just bike ride, but also do a lot of sightseeing in our destinations.

Like in our 2 days Yercaud bike trip, after riding in never ending hair pin bends, we went trekking to Kiliyur falls. 

On our 2 days Madanapalli bike trip, we went trekking to Talakona forest and waterfalls

On our 3 days Coorg bike trip, we went trekking to Abbey falls and sightseeing many other places.

In one of our Tiruvannamalai trip, we trekked on a steep hills for 1 hr to a Hindu temple with special waterfalls on the hill top.

Imagine the energy you would require to do bike riding and trekking – all in 2 days trip?. Above all riding bike in the nights?.

All the above were examples of 2 days and 1 night bike trips from Bangalore.

It requires lots of energy, to both ride a bike under the sun and moon, and to also to go on sports. And to do pradakshina in all those enormous Hindu temples – it requires more than just energy to drive bikes.

Tip

Initially you don’t have to go by any travel theme. You could just pick a destination, be it any resort or meeting any long distance friend, and aim to cover 150 to 200 kms in a day. 

Once you have made it to the destination, rest well only at night. Do not extend your rest period. Start immediately next morning. Check your energy level after completing the trip.

For myself its first half of the day and for Rajesh its second half of the day. 

So, How to prepare for a long bike ride?.

Plan your trip timings based on your energy levels.

Aware – Even Though you are physically fit, if you face any problems like nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite, then it’s a red flag.

How Well Are You Prepared to Face Challenges in Roads?

Lets address the elephant in the room. You will not get to choose the roads to your destination – atleast most of the time.

How prepared are you to go long bike ride in –

  • Countryside roads?
  • No roads but a bumpy path?
  • Mountain – side?
  • Action packed highways?
  • Adventurous hill stations?
  • And unexpected turns of events riding motorbike at night in all the above roads?

I didn’t mean to scare you. You need to be there riding the bike to understand road rules and road safety. You cannot blindly follow the book, because there is nothing like in the book.

In our early stages of bike riding, we choose the countryside routes from google maps. We didn’t always stick to comfortable 4 ways highways.

Like in our regular one day trips to Talakad, Somanathapura, Melkote – we always choose the Kanakapura route rather than taking comfortable Mysore highways.

(Note : Since the end of the year 2019, Kanakapura highways road has been extensively extended. Now its almost as good as the Mysore highways ).

And on our regular trip to Tiruvannamalai, we always took the countryside route from Darmapuri rather than comfortable Chennai highways (via Vellore route).

Like in our 11 days long bike trip in the year 2017 and 2018, we chose countryside destinations. To reach those destinations, every single day we rode in highways, crowded cities, and rural area agri fields. That too with our fully packed saddlebags and tank bags.

how to prepare long bike trip in india
Travelduo Bike image – Bike with Tank bag and saddle bags

So, How to prepare for a long bike ride?.

By riding bike on all kinds of roads.

Related – What you need to carry on the road trip

How Good are You in Planning a trip?

It is easy to tag along any long bike ride groups (most trending is Leh ladak and Manali trips in North India and Kanyakumari trips in South India).

So, you need nothing to worry about. 

But if you are just like us, prepare for a long bike ride with your partner, then you need to be good at planning and executing.

This is another most important quality in a bike rider – planning and executing. 

Every single trip we went in our life required careful planning of time calculation to reach the destination, book an accommodation (again sort the best from hundreds of options in booking sites), budget planning, shortlisting sightseeing places, pit stops based on your driving speed etc.,

We are married couples and we share equal responsibilities on-road and off- road. Here is the list of what those responsibilities look like.

Some on – road responsibilities:

  • Checking google maps often to ensure riding on the right route
  • Finding pit stops while on the go
  • Take turn to go washrooms to keep an eye on the luggages
  • Confirm room bookings
  • Look for gas stations on the map
  • Fill water bottles at pit stops

Some off- Road responsibilities:

  • Plan the holiday and budget
  • Detailed itinerary for each day of the long road trip with clear destinations, nearby restaurants, sightseeing places with phone numbers etc.,
  • Getting bike service done 2 days before bike trip
  • Book accomodations at all destinations
  • Pack toiletries
  • Pack first aids
  • Fit clothes in saddle bags
  • Keep all the expensive and ready to use essentials, bike ride accessories on the tank bag
  • Keep all the mobile phones’, power bank’s and SLR camera’s batteries charged night before the trip
  • Keep the water bottles filled
  • Again cross check everything on the day of starting the trip
  • Check the house safes’ and doors are secured (if you are couples like us).

Related – 7 good qualities of a bike ride partner

How Well You Know Your bike?

This is not so important but an essential question to ask to prepare for a long bike ride.

But this question has nothing to do with the first question – How confident are you?.

Because you may be confident to ride bike for 500 kms straight, but imagine riding a bike which breaks down in mid and screws that dream trip?.

Your bike is your first companion on the road, next is your bike ride partner.

That’s why it is always advised to ride your own bike, which you have been riding for quite some time.

Not the rented bike – the bike you have no connection with.

(That’s why when people talk about sentiments with their bikes, I totally agree with them).

Its only best if you could fix minor issues on your own.

Also, it is essential to get your bike service done a week before your long bike trip, to ensure smooth journey.

We never carried bike tools with us nor got ditched by our bike, because we always took care of it well before every single bike trips.

This is how to prepare for a long bike ride.

Now you are good to go!

Go or No-Go?

These are the facts you need to know on how to prepare for a long bike ride.

I could have just advised you to get a Royal Enfield bike, buy all the travel gears and essentials, find a partner or a group and just go.

But that’s not it. 

It is how much you trust yourself and enjoy the ride, how much your body and mind come together to experience the best time of your life.

11 days Long bike ride in India as a Beginners

This was our first long bike ride in India for 11 continuous days as a beginners bike riders. This happend in the end of year 2017.

And we successfully did it covering approx. 2000 kms by our motorbike, from Bangalore.

Read further to know how we went on a long bike trip from Bangalore, just two of us, the travelduo couples.

Long Bike Ride in India – Year 2017 From Bangalore

Day 1: 22nd Dec 2017, Bangalore to Kumbakonam – 410 kms by Bike

On our day -1 of our long bike ride in India, first longest bike ride ever in both our history and ever since our marriage – we started our bike unusually late.

By the time for Breakfast at our favourite pit stop called Shoolagiri Krishna Bhavan, the sun was already in full swing shining on our heads. 

It was already 10am. We have never been this late even during our 2 day trips to Tiruvannamalai or Yercaud trip via this pitstop. 

After refreshing and eating our usual favourites, 1 full hour has already gone. 

We still have approximately 350 kms to go, but one cannot find not even an ounce of worry or hurriedness in us. Both of us were beaming with pride and happiness for going to set a milestone in our bike ride history.

After many pit stops, endless long rides on the highways along with non-stop happy chatting and dreaming about this trip, we reached our destination – Kumbakonam at 11pm.

Finally, we crashed ourselves after riding the bike for 14+ hrs. Awesome total of 410 kms in just one day.

Thankfully we did not take this trip seriously. Had we been serious on the day -1 itself, no doubt we would have reached the destination very early, but we, for sure, would have missed all the fun in bike ride.

Day 2: 23rd Dec, Roaming inside Kumbakonam and Trip to Thirunallar

To our biggest surprise, we woke up early on day -2 of our long bike ride in India. 

What was more surprising was that Rajesh was jumping with full energy without even the trace of tiredness from yesterday’s journey.

He sure knows how to keep a positive energy.

Good for us, because I had spent almost 2 weeks planning for this trip. 

Since we chose the theme for this long bike trip to visit all famous temples, it took me days and days of hard work working out visiting places based on the temple timings and location.

Related – In all our Bike trip From Bangalore – Why Did We Choose to Visit Temples?

So I was nothing but surprised and happy to see my partner full of energy.

We kept our saddle bag and tank bag safely locked in our hotel room, carried just a backpack with water bottles and other basic items with us for roaming all the local places.

Day – 2 Visiting Places in Our Long Bike trip In India

  • Ramar temple, Kumbakonam town
  • Chakarapani temple, Kumbakonam town
  • Saarangapani temple, Kumbakonam town
  • Thirumetrali Siva temple – Bhramanandieswarar temple
  • Sakthivaneswarar Periyanayaki – Siva temple
  • Thenupureeswarar Shiva temple

Falling in love with “only Coffee Restaurant” in Kumbakonam

After roaming all the temples in the first half of the day, we had to come back to the room for check out. As we did not pre book the rooms for a week, we had to find a new hotel for the next couple of days. So on day-2 afternoon, we checked-in at Aditya Resorts in Thiruvidaimaruthur. That’s when we came to know about a dine-in called “Only Coffee Kumbakonam” and fell in love with ambiance and food immediately. 

It was situated just adjacent to the resorts and initially, we mistook it for a coffee shop. Later when we came to know there is more in the menu than just the aroma of coffee, we became regular customers.

Since then, for every meal, evening snacks and tea, we never missed to eat in this restaurant on our all days in Kumbakonam.

Read – Kumbakonam famous food items

Heroic act in Thirunallar

After check out and a hearty meal at Only Coffee restaurant, we then headed to Thirunallar. Since it was saturday and Darshan at thirunallar temple (a famous Navagraha temple for planet saturn( was near to impossible you know. We had to stand in a queue for almost an hour to get past the main entrance of the temple. Only then we realized that it would take more than 4 hrs to darshan Navagraha Saturn. We sure knew that it would not be possible for us to stand that long in the queue, as we needed to ride back in the dark for more than 1 hr to Kumbakonam town.

Somehow, Rajesh found a way to contact someone in the admin office, soon I found us standing in front of Navagraha Saturn for a VIP special darshan. We skipped 4 hrs long queue and were taken directly to darshan main sanctum followed by Goddess Parvathi darshan and Navagraha Saturn. I felt privileged being in special darshan in front of thousands of people, and I was in tears.

Hubby was too proud when we came out of darshan and of course after paying a fee to the admin guy who took us in. My face was beaming with happiness and pride, all the more loving my hubby who took a risk for me.

About My Hubby’s Willpower

Rajesh is not a person who gives up so easily on any matters. If you know him personally, you would definitely be surprised at the level of will power he possesses in himself. I look up to him for his hard work, sincerity and work ethics. Apart from that, personally he is not a person to be bogged down by any level of crowd, which I observed during many of our travels.  

Our motorbike rides connected us, gave us right opportunity and time to understand each other.

On most of the bike rides, mostly to Tiruvannamalai, distance of 200kms from our home, we check -in the room, head out soon for evening darshan in the temple after standing in a long queue for almost 2hrs. He never excused himself on any temple visits saying that he is too tired from bike rides. Nor he gave up on any bike trips, never came up with any excuse to postpone the trip or cancel it. 

And most of all, never did he take off from work, not even a day, even after riding back to back on weekend trips.  And you know of all the short and long bike trips we went since 2016, not even once he took off from work. You could see him get ready to office just like any other days. Touch wood. I would be the one forcing myself to go office as if I was driving bike day and night :).

Note – Nor did he take off to rest even after these 11 days of long bike rides in India.

So, after all these years of experience of travelling together with my partner, I took inspiration from him to write 7 good qualities to look for in a travel partner.

Day 3: 24th Dec Sunday, Bike ride from Kumbakonam to Mayiladuthurai and Thirumanajeri

As Usual we woke up early the next day, despite having spent the whole day on motorbike yesterday. Here is the list of places where we went on day-3.

Day-3 Visiting Places in Long Bike ride in India

  • Mahalinga Swamy temple
  • Kampahareswarar temple
  • Navagraha: Suriyan temple
  • Gangai konda Cholapuram
  • Mayuranathar at Mayiladuthurai
  • Kshetra Balapuram -lord Bhairava temple
  • Thirumanjeri Shiva temple

I roamed all the above places until noon, and took the rest of the day off after a heartfelt lunch in “Only coffee restaurant”.

Day 4 : 25th Dec Monday- Bike ride from to Thanjai and Tiruvaiyaru

Morning after breakfast at our usual favourite place, we went to only 2 places, as follows.

  • Abathsakeswar, aaduthurai
  • Navagraha: Sukran temple

Since we had big plans for the 2nd half day, also Rajesh had some official work in the morning, we kept our morning schedule minimal. 

We always remember to be flexible on our travel schedule so as to accommodate any of our emergency calls or meetings. 

Day- 4 Places of Visit

  • Big Tanjai temple, Tanjavur – 5 to 6.30pm darshan
  • Neelamega perumal temple
  • Sri Hara Saabha Vimocchana Perumal Temple, Kandiyur
  • Veeratanam temple – Brahma Kandeeswarar Shiva temple
  • Keelatirupanthuruthi temple
  • Aiyarappar temple, Tiruvaiyaru – Darshan and tiruoonjal poojai

It was quite an achievement in one day, bike riding from Kumbakonam to Tanjavoor, then from there to Tiruvaiyaru before returning back. And along the way, we have visited all the famous temples – both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu temples. 

The last stop in the day-4 long bike ride was Thiruvaiyaru, one of the biggest and famous temples of Lord Shiva, where we spent the entire evening until the temple closed for the day. Then we started our bike by 9.10 pm from Thiruvaiyaru to Kumbakonam via Kavisthalam. We stopped at Kabisthalam for tea at 9.50pm and reached our room by 11pm. 

We had a peaceful journey, thanks to the seamless roads.

That’s another advantage of staying at Kumbakonam, not only do we get to enjoy cheap and best stays, but also good roadways connecting all major cities.

So staying at Kumbakonam is the best option to budget travel to places like Trichy, Chidambaram, Tanjavoor, Mannargudi, Karaikal, Nagapattinam etc.,

Day 5: Dec 26 Tuesday, Long Bike ride to Sirkazhi and Chidambaram

On yet another auspicious day – Ashtami, falling on Tuesday, we started our bike to Sirkazhi and Chidambaram just as planned.

Asusual woke up early, got ready and had coffee at 7am before we started our bike. It was too early to have breakfast, so we headed straight to our destination, Vaitheeswaran koil. Had a wonderful darshan at 8.30 to 9.30am, spent an hour at this Lord Shiva temple before we headed to Sirkazhi (pronounced as Sirkali), a neighbouring town.

We had breakfast at one of the good restaurants in town, before we had darshan at Sattainathar temple, Sirkali.

Finally we visited the most famous Chidambaram Natarajar temple before returning to Kumbakonam.

It was a hectic day, travelling long distances, visiting all famous temples, waiting in queues in each temple took most of our energy. Yet we enjoyed travelling back 80kms from Chidambaram to Kumbakonam, because our bike rides are not just about travelling and visiting places, but also enjoy being in the moment. Not just Kumbakonam, all the places we went from this temple town offered us feast of agri lands, lakes, rivers and ponds.

Rajesh was the one who enjoyed most of the countryside ride, marvelling at the rice fields, stopping to play in the ponds, clicking lilies pics.

11 days of this long bike trip in south India opened up a new beautiful world which we cherish forever.

This was the very reason which brought us back to the same places in the year 2018 as well.

Day 6: Dec 27th Wednesday – Long Bike ride to Tiruvarur

Day-6 was a relaxed day. We didn’t plan to go far distances as we wanted a break from yesterday’s long distance bike ride.

So we visited the famous temples within the Kumbakonam town in the first half of the day. Later in the afternoon we went to Thiruvarur at 42 km distance from Kumbakonam. 

Here is the list of places we went on Day -6

  • Abhimukeshwarar near mahamaham tank, Kumbakonam
  • Tiruvarur Thyagaraja temple
  • Thirucherai Saranatha perumal temple
  • Nachiar koil

Day 7: 28th Dec Thursday. Bike ride to Alangudi and Mannargudi

It’s been 2 days since we have vacated our stay at Adithya resorts and moved to a hotel in main Kumbakonam town. Today, we all the way travelled to Only Coffee Restaurant near Adithya resorts to have our regular southindian breakfast.

After leisure breakfast, we headed towards Alangudi, about an hour ride from the restaurant.

Alangudi is one of the famous places for Navagraha, Lord Guru

Just like Thirunallar saturn temple, here in Alangudi too it was super crowded.

Since we did not anticipate that much crowd in Alangudi, it was around 12 noon when we reached Mannargudi temple. It was already late and we missed the darshan by 10 mins. Returned back with just this cute elephant’s pic. Adorable isn’t it?

long bike ride in India
Cute elephant in Mannargudi Temple

After returning to the room, after relaxing for some time, we visited the following places in the evening.

  • Palaivananathar temple, Papanasam
  • Ramalingeswarar 108 lingam temple, Papanasam
  • Garbarakshambigai temple, Thirukaragavoor.

Happy news is that we were able to darshan in this Mannargudi temple when my husband joined my Solo bike trip in Kumbakonam for 5 days. Yes I did go solo to Kumbakonam for the love of this temple town for 5 days. And When Rajesh joined me in the weekend for the return journey, we visited this temple along with all other favorite temples in Kumbakonam town.

Day 8: 29th Dec, Friday, Vaikunda Ekadasi in Kumbakonam

We were up by 2am to get ready for Vaikunda Ekadasi darshan at Sarangapani temple. 

As expected there was a long queue ahead, but we were able to darshan in an hr, since it was properly regulated by the temple management. 

Soon after we headed towards another famous 108 Divya Desam Vishnu temple called Oppiliappan temple. On the way towards the location, we relaxed, played near the lotus pond, had a good time clicking pics and playing. 

After darshan at Oppiliappan kovil, we headed towards Nachiyar Kovil, yet another famous 108 Divya Desam Lord Vishnu temple and a must visit temple in Kumbakonam.

Related: Famous Temples in Kumbakonam – A Very Big List with Google Map link

After having breakfast in a small mess near Thirunageswaram temple, we attended Navagraha Rahu milk pooja from 10.30 to 12 noon.

Returning back by afternoon, we had lunch at a small mess called “Ayyakadai” at the corner of the Poppy’s SET hotel I have mentioned earlier.

After a long rest in the afternoon, we went to have ginger tea at a tea shop near clock tower in Kumbakonam town.

Then  we went to the shopping area near Sarangapani temple to buy silver items and bought a couple of items.

And, yet again we went to our favourite restaurant for dinner to enjoy the evening. Whoa it was a long day in my entire life and was one of the memorable days in our travel history. 

Related – Vaikunta Ekadasi Experience in Trichy Srirangam Temple

Here is the list of places we went on Day -8

  • Sarangapani temple
  • Oppiliappan temple
  • Nachiyar kovil
  • Nageswaran temple

Evening shopping in Kumbakonam town

Day – 9 30th December Saturday

The most relaxed day in this entire week. So far all the temples and all the lake ponds in every nook and corner were visited in this temple town Kumbakonam. 

We rode to all famous neighbouring towns, everyday clicked all nature’s pic in the early morning, had wonderful coffee watching the sunrise, had amazing meals in all famous restaurants, and there was nothing more left to do. 

How else could we have spent this vacation more fruitfully?

Soon our vacation is nearing its end. 

We never wanted to forget any of those memories so we kept staring at the beautiful ponds, agri fields, nature’s work during all our bike rides. We kept clicking as many pics as we could in both our mobiles and SLR canon that we carried.

It is more of an emotional day for us. 

We left the room as soon as waking up, to ride into the field to have breakfast at our favourite restaurant – you know where.

Rajesh had brought his laptop and soon after breakfast, he started working on it. I occupied myself with sorting the pics in individual folders.

A very interesting hobby of mine apart from bookmarking travel locations in google maps. Once returning to home after this vacation, I would be spending many months working on sorting the pics.

Since it is a long bike ride in India, the first of its kind, definitely it would take me many months uploading pics to all my backup drives and labeling them.

That’s the reason I take Weekly Tuesdays off, to do such important work as a blogger.

After spending long hours, we returned to town only for lunch. After finishing bath in the early evening, we went to the nearest Darasuram for the evening. It is a majestic, beautiful architecture maintained under UNESCO, recognized more as a picnic spot than as a religious place. But there are pooja rituals followed just like all the Lord Shiva temples, and we attended the evening pooja while we were there.

We returned to town and visited Kasi Viswanathar temple for yet another evening pooja since it was an auspicious day called Pradosham. Being more auspicious falling on Saturday, we knew that all the Lord Shiva temples would be super crowded in TamilNadu. So we decided to go to this small temple near Mahamaham tank, called kasi Vishwanathaar temple and got only a sneak peak into the abhishegam rituals.

So on day-9 of our long bike trip, we went to only 2 places – Darasuram and a small Siva temple.  

Later we went for a movie in a local theater for a happy ending of our vacation in Kumbakonam. 

Day -10 Dec 31 Sunday – Long Bike ride from Kumbakonam to Tiruvannamalai

We woke up early today and left the room immediately to have coffee watching the sunrise near Mahamaham water tank. Came back to the check-out room at around 9.30am, then went to Balaji tea shop to have ginger tea. Finally we clicked pics near Mahamaham tank before we said final goodbye to our most favourite Kumbakonam town.

We then started our bike towards our next destination Tiruvannamalai via JayankondaCholapuram. Stopped at Srimushnam temple for darshan between 11.30 to 12.15 noon, had lunch at Ayini restaurant in Virudhachalam.

Reached Tiruvannamalai and check-in our room in Hotel Himalayas at 5.40pm. After relaxing and eating snacks at Krishna Sweets, we went to Annamalaiyar temple for darshan in evening. And we spent time in temple from 8pm to 10.15, left the temple after Thiru Oonjal sevvai darshan (putting Lord Shiva and Parvathi to sleep before temple closes).

We spent our new year evening roaming the Tiruvannamalai town, watching that small town buzzing with international devotees in disbelief. Around midnight we reached room, went to sleep listening to the far sound of new year celebrations.

Day 11 – January 01 2018 Monday, Last Day of Our Long Bike Ride in India

Unusually, Rajesh woke up at 3.30am, went to temple for early morning new year darshan. He came to the room by 7am, after temple darshan waiting in a queue for more than 2 hrs.

We check-out the room, after a brief buffet breakfast at Hotel Himalayas. 

Then, we left Tiruvannamalai with packed bags and hearts towards Bangalore.

Reached our home in Bangalore by 9.30 pm, after a slow, leisure ride after stopping at many of favourite places for relaxing.

11 days of non – stop bike riding came to an end.

Happy ending.

Sum – Up: Why it Looked like a Spiritual Trip, The reason why

You name any famous temple in Kumbakonam, we have covered it all in the past one week in this temple town.

It may look like we undertook this long bike ride in India for a spiritual purpose rather than a leisure ride. The theme was to visit all the famous places possible in all the districts we have traveled to or through, so I tried my best to squeeze in all the famous places within the duration. 

Related – In all our Bike trip From Bangalore – Why Did We Choose to Visit Temples?

Having a feeling that we would not be this free once we started a family, I felt this deep urge to cover all places possible. One might think its crazy, but look at us now in the year 2020 under Covid-19 Lockdown.

You know how badly we missed our one day – and two day trips from Bangalore during that Lockdown Period?.

Though it seemed crazy that time for my facebook friends and my family, we did take a risk of riding long distances, going to all famous temples and damn it’s all worth it now.

If you would ask me that if I would change any of the places we have crazily visited, My answer would be No. 

Yes, Nothing. It was all too perfect. 

Too perfect long bike ride plan for the beginners.

Total of 11 days, 1745 kms, 13+ districts – all worth it. 

And We did it again in the year 2018. This time it was more fun and less temples. Very notable in this 2018 bike trip is the boating inside Chidambaram Mangroove forest.

12 Days Long Bike Trip In India (Year 2018)

7 Good Bike Ride Partner Qualities (A Free Guide to Select a Right Travel Partner)

The very reason I decided to write about the bike ride partner qualities is that many are actively looking for travel partners (strangers?) in the travel forums. I have been seeing people requesting in travel forums such as “looking for bike ride partners to Manali”, “anyone interested to join us for long bike trip to Leh Ladak” etc.,

I don’t know how many of you had successful bike trips partnering with strangers, I have some suggestions that might be of value to you.

Here are 7 (good) qualities to look in a bike ride partner from our numerous bike trip experiences in India.

Image credit – Reddit

Bike Ride Partner Qualities – The list From Our Numerous Bike trip Experiences

#1. A Partner Who Shares Common Interest – The one most important Bike ride partner qualities

Be it a 200 kms bike ride in a short bike trip or 500 to 600 kms ride in a day in a long bike trip, you and your partner are going to share long hours on the same bike. 

If the other person does not share common interests i.e. for travelling, then say it’s wise to not choose he/she as your bike ride partner. 

Though knowing to ride a bike may not be a mandatory qualification, one must be willing to sit on a bike, pillion ride long distances without complaining about the weather or anything. 

Trust me, this one quality is more important than anything. 

If someone wants to join you just to test the water rather than real interest in bike travelling then its No – No.

#2. Rider Who is Not Willing to Give Up

In our 2nd longest bike trip back in the year 2018, I felt sick as soon as we started the bike. Then as soon as we reached the destination on day – 1, I developed severe fever and chill. Due to that I had to go to the hospital on the same night. 

My hubby proposed that we go back to Bangalore if I don’t feel well the next day. I too felt the same. After coming back from hospital my decision to go back became certain.

But the whole night, the thought of giving up on that long bike trip kept disturbing me. Furthermore, I thought about the days and time I spent on planning for this.

Above all we both took off officially from work for this well planned 12 days vacation.

On the next day morning, I told my hubby that we are good to go. At first he didn’t agree. Soon we were on our way to our next destination. 

Though I was not as active as I was on the 2017 long bike trip, I felt better after 2 days of medication. Also I knew Rajesh would have also never given up if he was to be in my place.

Not giving up was the best decision we have taken in that long bike trip.

Now we have another feather to our cap.

The person who is willing to not give up is one of the best bike ride partner qualities one can expect. 

#3. Someone Who Values Your Trip Plan – Another must have Quality of a bike ride partner

If the partner lost any interest during the middle of the trip, then its going to be an unpleasant experience. Very soon you will find them saying, “I thought you were going to stop at this place…”, “I only joined this trip because I thought………”. 

Or they will find a way to delay the time some or the other way. Because they don’t care. Because they lost interest and wants a way out.

Not only you will be frustrated answering your partner’s constant complaints and soon you will find yourselves dragging a dead weight.

#4. Avoid Someone Who Enjoys Blame Game

If there is one thing for sure happens on the road is, expect the unexpected.

Be it delay in plan, not finding good pit stops, trouble finding gas stations, mobile battery runs out etc., one needs to be prepared to face it like an adult.

If the bike ride partner finds it easy to blame everything on the other person, then you find a way to let go of that partner. Trust me, you are well off alone.

And you cannot let go of the partner in the middle of the trip, that’s why I suggest to know the person for sometime atleast.

Read Related11 days Long Bike Ride in India (road trip from Bangalore 2017)

#5. Who is Ready to Sacrifice Small pleasures

Consider yourself  lucky if you could find a bike ride partner ready to do small  sacrifices. Such as eating at irregular intervals, compromising on restaurant choices, take a leak near woods without complaining, sleep in uncomfortable beds, pathetic room services, spend the night without cable or internet connections, etc.,

It’s all part of nomad life and if your partner is not willing to do small sacrifices, then say No to the partner. 

#6. Share the Burden too

When I say “share the burden”, the most obvious thing that comes to your mind is sharing the budget. 

There is more to look for in a bike ride partner qualities. 

For example, when one person is an active rider, then the pillion rider takes responsibility for finding pit stops from google maps, confirming room bookings and route navigations, etc.,

Here are some on – road responsibilities:

  • Checking google maps often to ensure riding on the right route
  • Finding pit stops while on the go
  • Take turn to go washrooms to keep an eye on the luggages
  • Confirm room bookings
  • Look for gas stations on the map
  • Fill water bottles at pit stops

Some off- Road responsibilities:

  • Plan the holiday and budget
  • Detailed itinerary for each day of the long road trip with clear destinations, nearby restaurants, sightseeing places with phone numbers etc.,
  • Getting bike service done 2 days before bike trip
  • Book accomodations at all destinations
  • Pack toiletries
  • Pack first aids
  • Fit clothes in saddle bags
  • Keep all the expensive stuffs and ready to use essentials, bike ride accessories on the tank bag
  • Keep all the mobile phones’, power bank’s and SLR camera‘s batteries charged night before the trip
  • Keep the water bottles filled
  • Again cross check everything on the day of starting the trip
  • Check the house safes’ and doors are secured (if you are couples like us).

#7. Who doesn’t go crazy on shopping 

Planning for a long bike trip requires careful selection of minimal travel clothes and essentials which fit all in your saddle bags (and tank banks).

Avoid travelling with the partner who doesn’t understand the concept of minimalist packing. Certainly it would save you a lot of frustration.

Buying new stuff in travel destinations means not only putting a dent on your travel budget but also an extra luggage to carry around. 

Travel Partner – Go or No Go?

Even if your partner is riding on his/her own bike, the above are some qualities you need to look for in a partner for seamless experience.

We were always on the same bike because we are compatible duo travelers.  And we always have a proactive approach to every single ride.

We grew compatible and easy going couple over many may one day – and two day – bike trips.

Above all we were quick to ask sorry and correct our mistakes. 

Probably its best to travel in groups led by an experienced bike ride organizer if you couldn’t find a perfect partner.

Which of my bike ride partner qualities do you agree with most?.

Read RelatedThis is How to Prepare for a Long Bike ride in India – Free Guide